Monday, December 10, 2007

Hank Hill Goes HOMEGROWN, works at the Co-op

King of The Hill has really outdone themselves with their "Raise The Steaks" episode. Hank becomes a passionate food consumer once he discovers organic meats. He and Bobby visit a family farm and see how real food is grown (Bobby: "How do you know when a cow is ripe? Do you squeeze it?). Hank even works to save the now profitable local Corn-uCo-oPia from the destructive hands of Mega-Lo- Mart (Hank: "Co-op, huh? All those Vee Dubyas in the parking lot, I just assumed it was a Unitarian church").
We say bravo, Hank Hill, for fighting for what's "dee-licious"!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Winners of Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN Thanksgiving Menu Contest

Congratulations to winners Hope Course, the Hileman Family, Matt Scheibe, and Melissa Miller! Check out their HOMEGROWN menus here


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN Thanksgiving

Win a $100 Whole Foods gift certificate - click here for details!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Humble kitchen love

I’ve been thinking about kitchens a lot lately. I scrutinize any appliance ad that features a gourmet kitchen – usually there is an elegantly dressed couple cooking together or entertaining their equally fabulous house guests. Sleek, long counter tops. Sparsely adorned with shiny orbs and glass vases – maybe a dramatic bouquet for color.

Sometimes the idea of having such a sleek and sexy kitchen is appealing, but for now I’ll stick with my humble apartment kitchen: pots hanging from the ceiling, shelves bursting with random food stuff, the 40-year-old gas stove, and the worn wooden top of an old dresser that serves as my only counter top – it may never grace the pages of Dwell or Gourmet, but it’s a well-loved space where I work well with what I’ve got.
What kind of kitchen do you cook in?

Monday, October 22, 2007

HOMEGROWN Chicken Soup

Its getting dark earlier, a change of season cold is settling into my head and my boyfriend is late for dinner. I am completely happy. I have a cutting board that is loaded with rainbowtastic veggies and herbs that are resting for a moment. Chicken thighs are browning in the pan – making stuffy state even headier with its foodie perfume. I’ve got an old album (Mike Doughty “Haughty Melodic”), newly rediscovered, blasting a little too loud. My kitchen is a wonderful oxymoron of chaos and peace. It’s a good night for chicken soup.

In this space, I am turning my treasure trove of locally grown vegetables (and sustainably raised chicken) into soul warming fuel. My veggies were picked yesterday and took two rinses to get the sand out. Standing at the sink, I try to consider the life of my food and how many lives it affected. The person who collected the seeds, put it in the ground, watered the seedlings; the time this particular plant spent in the soil; the chicken; the person that fed and slaughtered the chicken and the truck driver that drove the meat to my local yuppie mart. I love this food and I haven’t even tasted it yet.

Taking care to appreciate the bounty makes it impossible to throw together a careless meal. In fact, I make a point to summon summon memories of cooking with my mother and the smell of freshly baked bread whenever I cook. With this feeling of deep respect, enjoyment and love, I can pack those feelings back into this meal. It’s the last step that I need to take to maximize the potential of this food –regardless of the end product.

This is what HOMEGROWN is to me. Being able to feel a deep sense of respect for my food, its history, my history and being able to share it all in a bowl of chicken soup.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Urban Homesteading - our HOMEGROWN heroes

We all have our heroes, who are yours?
Urban Homesteaders are a group that we've been paying reverential attention to lately - those who take what little patch of land they have and strive for an independent, sustainable, and self-sufficient dwelling. From growing their own food to sourcing solar and wind energy to making their own clothes - these folks are models of self-reliance and resourcefulness.

If you’re dreaming of becoming a modern-day Thoreau, or simply looking for tools for sustainable living, check out these links for more information:
Path to Freedom
Homegrown Evolution
Urban Homesteader blog
Mother Jones article about city-owned urban homesteadsBackwoods Home Magazine

Who are the people that you think of as HOMEGROWN heroes?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

How cool are these pumpkins?!?!

There's a seriously talented group of folks who do the coolest thing with pumpkins and power tools. I'm in awe. You can participate in a contest, or just check out their work here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The big guys don't know either...

<<<<what do I do with this stuff? Is it compostable???

So, I’ve spent the last few days at an interactive media conference. Hundreds of people. Really smart people like Seth Godin and Arianna Huffington were there. The people who put together that “real women” Dove campaign, marketing folks from Toyota, American Express, and all of the big agencies were there - all wanting to hear what the next big thing is for the web. I went for the same reason: because I know how I use the web for myself, but I wanted to know what are companies doing to reach customers in new and interesting ways and what cool stuff can I look forward to seeing out there? There was a lot of opining. Buzzwords were thrown around. Hand gestures were abundant…
So…hours of speeches and workshops later…what’s the next big thing? You know what’s pretty awesome, is that nobody knows. None of these industry leaders know either. The only thing that companies know is that they have to relinquish control over what content may follow and attach to their brands online – the “consumer” wants the control and has the power to take what they’re trying to sell and make it their own.
As the ship’s captain of, knowing that my instincts are what must serve as my compass, I’m just hoping we can build a swank online pad that pulls in some of the cool stuff that we already love about the web and that it turns into a place where likeable, intelligent and creative people hang out.

In the name of research and curiosity…Could you all do me a favor and list the 5-10 actions you take when you turn on your computer in the morning – is email first? what’s your home page? Where do you go from there? Do you have a list of favorites or does the process change?
I'll send you a button for your troubles!

Monday, September 17, 2007


HOMEGROWN is a celebration of the imaginative, passionate people who love to eat, grow and cook good food. HOMEGROWN is also a celebration of the pioneering ways that people live, communicate, and express themselves.
A few of us at Farm Aid noticed the word homegrown popping up in lots of places: People have been using the word at farmers markets. We see people admiring the vegetables and fruits, catching the eye of the farmer, asking questions. We’ve heard the word when people talk about what they’ve cooked that’s local, or organic, or when they tell you a story about where that food came from.

Anyone who has ever patiently waited for his first crop of cherry tomatoes, or squealed gleefully upon the arrival asparagus season is HOMEGROWN. Anyone who has ever over-bought at a farmers market, only to make a dazzling dish from it all is HOMEGROWN. There are plenty of people out there who are making their mark in the world using their hands, hearts and the gifts from the earth.

HOME is safety, warmth, welcome, comfort, psychic renewal, connection. Love. GROWN means waiting for things to mature. Anticipation. We might feel awe at the process of relentless change, toward delicious, healthy food. Amazement we are utterly dependent on soil, water, sun and a seed—and hard work and good luck for our survival. It’s an invisible thread, from the apple in your hand, to the farmer who tended the orchard, to the sturdy tree, to the soil where it’s digging in roots, connecting us to nature. is a place for HOMEGROWN folks to gather, and It’s a place that will be defined by the folks who gather there. Won’t you be a part of it?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Brooklyn Backyard BBQ - A HOMEGROWN Affair

Our good friend Sarah arranged for us to have a really fun and inspiring gathering along the Gowanus canal in Carroll Gardens. There was plenty of yummy family farmer food at the grill, some lively local musical entertainment, and T-shirt silkscreening by local art cooperative Goldmine Sh*thouse. The best part, however, was the people who came out to support us, and to join the dialog about the sources of our food.
We're hoping to have more events in the upcoming months: potlucks, art shows, concerts, BBQs...what was your favorite gathering of the summer?

Friday, August 17, 2007

The buttons

This was one way that we thought we could introduce the idea (or at least the word) of HOMEGROWN to people in New York City. Serendipitously, I got hooked up with Mia at The Green Apple Festival (look it up – good stuff). Mia is a punk rock girl from back in the day. She dropped the name of my favorite band within the first few minutes of meeting (The Melvins), we like the same heavy metal bands, too, so I think she’s aces.
Anyway, Mia had a list of volunteers in the New York area who could help us spread the word, so we put together a plan for folks to go to the Green Markets in Union Square, Park Slope, and Montclair, NJ. “Ask them a few questions,” I told them. “Like ‘why do you come to the market’? And ‘What does HOMEGROWN mean to you?’ ”.
As a reward, we wanted to give these wonderful people something fun to take with them. Something to express that they are HOMEGROWN and proud.

How are you HOMEGROWN and proud?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

"I wrote a song about my girlfriend's pancakes"

I want to hang out with this guy. I can just picture him…Eyes that crinkle like soft leather when he laughs…a row of white, yet slightly crooked teeth...a guy who writes songs about his woman’s pancakes. He might play the guitar while sitting on his porch in – Chapel Hill? Bend, OR?, Brooklyn, maybe…
He didn’t just write a song about pancakes, he wrote a song about the blissful warmth that comes from a labor of love. He knows that it’s not just the fresh brown eggs and organic stone-ground flour that makes those pancakes so good. It’s the love and care of his girlfriend that makes them song-worthy.
I express my love through cooking – do you? My pilgrimage to the farmers market every week is my way of connecting to the earth and cooking connects me to those I love. At the market, I thoughtfully walk from tent to tent, composing a symphony of dishes. One thing I learned from my preacher mother (the best cook I know): Sometimes I don’t know how it will all come together, but I have faith that I’ll be guided by some divine culinary communique.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Corn salutations!

I look at all of the food talk out there: 30 minute meals, food summits, artisanal cooking, celebrity chefs, etc. and I think – I’m nowhere NEAR being an expert on food or cooking – I’m merely a devoted fan. If I were to draw a parallel, it would be a yoga one. I’ve been doing yoga for close to ten years and every day I practice – I don’t master. In the realm of cooking, an expert chef like Mario Batali is my yogi and I am his student.
I am an expert on eating corn on the cob, however. I have perfected the most efficient and fruitful method of eating it - across typewriter style until there is a strip too wide for one chomp, yet too small for its own typewriter row, then finish with rolling the cob forward and back. No sweet, tender kernel left behind. This wisdom has only come from years and years of practice (and a healthy obsession with efficiency).